On a grey, damp day at Silverstone circuit, the BMW Williams team this morning launched their 2002 challenger - FW24. Sir Frank Williams (Team Principal), Gerhard Berger and Dr. Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Directors), Patrick Head (Technical...
On a grey, damp day at Silverstone circuit, the BMW Williams team this morning launched their 2002 challenger - FW24. Sir Frank Williams (Team Principal), Gerhard Berger and Dr. Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Directors), Patrick Head (Technical Director), Sam Michael (Chief Operations Engineer), and Gavin Fisher (Chief Designer) took to the stage along with drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.
After a brief question and answer session the FW24 was unveiled and a photo call took place, first with Williams and BMW representatives on stage. Then the car with the drivers and finally the car alone. As the day was on a tight schedule, the car was spirited away to make ready for its run in the afternoon. Initial work on the FW24 started as far back as March 2001 and although the team are quietly optimistic, the drivers were cautious about predicting instant results.
Juan Pablo Montoya:
"I hope the car will be more competitive. From what I understand it's definitely a step forward and the question mark is, how much is it going to be a step forward compared with everyone else. Everyone made different approaches with this year and I think the way we went is all right. We will really know where we are at the next test in Barcelona."
"For us, for myself, the main focus at the moment is to get out testing and to get where we can finish the first few races without any reliability problems, and then we'll see where we are."
After the conclusion of interviews and a break for lunch, the FW24 took to the track for its first public laps in light rainfall. The drivers used the National circuit which is approximately 1.6 miles and incorporates the pit straight, through Copse Corner and down to Maggotts, straight along past Priory to Brooklands, Luffield and round Woodcote back to the start/finish.
Ralf Schumacher did one installation and one flying lap then the car was changed over to Juan Pablo Montoya's set-up. Montoya did his installation lap then five flying laps; hammering down the pit straight and howling like a demon, the FW24 looked and sounded like it meant business.